DENVER (CBS4) – The Denver teenager mauled by a bear in the Alaskan wilderness talked from his hospital bed while he’s been recovering in Anchorage.
“The most vivid thing I remember (is) running, looking behind me and just seeing this huge, snarling, grizzly bear,” Sam Gottsegen said.
Gottsegen, 17, was one of seven teens hiking through Alaska’s back country during the last leg of a survival course. The bear injured Gottsegen and three other teenagers after the group surprised the mother and her cub.
Gottsegen suffered a punctured lung, broken ribs and several bites. He said the attack lasted about a minute. He didn’t think he’d survive.
“‘I’m going to die. Like, I’m too young, I’m about to go to college,’ you know, ‘I have a family, I have friends at home,'” he said. “If (the bites had) been a little bit deeper into my brain, in my head, or into my lung, or into my neck or anything, I wouldn’t have made it. I’m extremely lucky. I’m so lucky.”
Gottsegen is expected to return home on Saturday.
Wildlife officials later reported it was a brown bear, not a grizzly bear that attacked the teens.